Malema uses blue light

2009-11-05 00:00

POLOKWANE — The driver of the car in which ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was stopped in Limpopo reportedly placed a blue light on the car’s roof after traffic officers signalled to him to pull over. He was doing 107 km/h in a 60 km/h zone.

Beeld has learned from a reliable source that Malema and his driver were in a silver Range Rover on October 14. Malema went to his home town, Seshego, on that day to hand over a house to a needy family.

At about 10 am he and his driver were on their way back from Seshego to Polokwane when a team of nine traffic officers signalled to the car to pull off the road.

According to Beeld ’s source, the driver stopped the car in the middle of the road, flashed the lights and then placed a blue light on the roof.

City Press reported on Sunday that Malema phoned Limpopo’s Roads and Transport MEC, Pinky Kekana, among others, after being pulled over.

One of the traffic officers, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of persecution, said yesterday, “The incident definitely took place.”

This after a denial by Ntau Letebele, head of the Limpopo Roads and Transport Department, that it happened. “It never happened, so why would one want to institute a disciplinary investigation?” he told Beeld on Monday.

Yesterday, Beeld saw a letter sent to the traffic officers by M.R. Makhubela, acting station commander of Polokwane’s provincial traffic office, on the day of the incident.

The subject of the letter is “Incident that occurred today [October 14] in Seshego”.

It continues: “Officers, as indicated above, carried out [speed] law enforcement at Seshego and something occurred at that moment with regard to the ANCYL president.”

The names of all nine traffic officers are known to Beeld.

Makhubela ordered all the officers named in the letter, which he signed, to submit written statements about exactly what happened, before 2 pm, when their shift ended.

Makhubela yesterday denied sending the letter.

“We have procedures that are confidential. We are not supposed to make any information known to the newspapers.”

He said the traffic department is investigating the incident.

Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin told Parliament on Tuesday that no one is above the law and that the matter will be investigated.

Malema did not answer either of his two cellphones yesterday and did not respond to Beeld’s messages.

Limpopo police spokesman Superintendent Ronel Otto said that according to the law, only police and traffic department vehicles are allowed to use blue lights.

Dr Johan Burger, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, said that when a VIP is transported, the police VIP protection unit will have blue lights, but not the car carrying the VIP.

According to Beeld’s source, Malema’s driver is not a member of the police and the car was not part of a convoy.

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